Written by Ari Parker — Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Medicare annual enrollment period is three weeks away. Every year, Medicare’s open enrollment period is October 15 - December 7.
What does that mean for you? It means that If you aren’t completely satisfied with Traditional Medicare or your current Medicare Advantage plan, you can switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan. You can also change your Part D Prescription drug coverage or choose a drug plan, which can be included in a Medicare Advantage plan or selected as a standalone drug plan.
Indeed, what many may not realize is that every year, Medicare Advantage plans try to optimize their benefits, reduce costs, and improve drug coverage to attract and retain more members. And it’s important to check for any changes in whether your doctors are in-network for your Medicare Advantage plan, as 30% of providers’ location or practice information may change every year. October 15 to December 7 is when all people with Medicare have maximum flexibility to change their health coverage and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.
If you sign up for a Medicare Advantage or Part D drug plan during the October 15 - December 7 open enrollment period, your new coverage will begin January 1, 2021.
There’s more good news. If you change plans before the end of the year and later decide that you don’t like your new Medicare Advantage plan, you can disenroll anytime from January 1 to March 31. You can choose to return to Traditional Medicare and purchase a standalone Part D drug plan. Or you can switch Medicare Advantage plans again, but only once during this period.
But remember that if you switch back to Traditional Medicare, you may not be able to get a Medigap plan because in most states (except CT, NY, and WA) you will need to answer health questions.